Can You Buy Wine with EBT? What You Need To Know

Many people wonder if they can use their EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card to buy wine, beer, or other alcoholic drinks. The answer is no.

According to the Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees SNAP, EBT cards cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, liquor, and any other type of alcohol. Additionally, EBT cards cannot be used to buy tobacco products, vitamins, supplements, live animals (with some exceptions), and hot foods that are meant to be eaten immediately.

There are some exceptions to these rules. For example, cooking wine, wine vinegar, and extracts like vanilla extract are considered cooking ingredients and can be bought with SNAP benefits. However, it’s always best to check with your local SNAP office or the Food and Nutrition Service to confirm which items are eligible for purchase with EBT cards.

While these regulations apply to all EBT programs, states do have some flexibility in determining which items can be purchased with their EBT cards. Some states have chosen to allow certain non-food items to be bought with EBT cards, such as hot prepared foods or seeds and plants for growing food.

Alternative Methods to Purchase Wine

While EBT benefits cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages, there are alternative methods to purchase wine. Here are some options:

Cash or Credit/Debit Card

One of the most straightforward methods to purchase wine is by using cash or a credit/debit card. Most liquor stores and supermarkets that sell wine will accept these forms of payment. Some stores may require identification to prove that the buyer is of legal drinking age.

Gift Cards

Another option is to purchase wine using a gift card. Many stores that sell wine offer gift cards that can be used to make purchases. These gift cards can be purchased using cash, credit/debit cards, or other forms of payment. Check with the store to ensure that their gift cards can be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.

Online Retailers

Online retailers such as and Drizly offer a wide selection of wine that can be purchased and delivered to your doorstep. These retailers accept various forms of payment, including credit/debit cards and PayPal. Some states have restrictions on shipping alcohol, so it’s essential to check the laws in your state before making a purchase.

Wine Club Memberships

Wine club memberships offer a unique way to purchase wine. Memberships typically involve a monthly or quarterly subscription fee, and members receive a selection of wines that are delivered to their doorstep. Some wine clubs offer discounts and exclusive access to limited edition wines, and may require a minimum age for membership.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the frequently asked questions about purchasing wine with EBT:

Can you buy wine with EBT?

The answer is no. Wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages are not eligible for purchase with EBT. However, there are some exceptions in certain states where it is possible to use EBT to purchase wine if it is done so through a separate transaction. This means that if you are buying both food items and wine at a grocery store, you would need to pay for the wine separately from your EBT benefits.

What other items are not eligible for purchase with EBT?

In addition to wine and other alcoholic beverages, EBT benefits cannot be used to purchase non-food items such as household supplies, pet food, and personal care items. Additionally, hot prepared foods and meals that are meant to be eaten in the store are not eligible for purchase with EBT.

Are there any limits on how much can be purchased with EBT?

Yes, there are limits on how much can be purchased with EBT. The amount of benefits you receive is based on your household size and income, and there are also limits on the types of food items that can be purchased with EBT. For example, luxury food items such as lobster and steak are not eligible for purchase with EBT.

Can EBT be used to purchase food online?

Yes, EBT can be used to purchase food online from participating retailers in your state. However, you can only use your EBT card to pay for eligible food items, and not for delivery fees or other non-food items that may be included in your online order.

Can EBT be used at all stores?

No, EBT can only be used at authorized retailers that participate in the SNAP program. These retailers include grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers markets. It’s important to check with your local SNAP office to find out which stores in your area accept EBT.

To learn more about the range of items you can purchase with an EBT card please refer to our comprehensive guide ‘What You Can Buy with EBT’. This guide offers valuable insights into the types of products eligible for EBT purchases.